There are a million ways to lose a tooth: going face-first down a waterslide, getting head-butted by an excitable dog, tripping on a crack in the sidewalk, or even gum disease. Fortunately, innovations in dental technology have given us the means to fix the problem of a missing tooth (or multiple teeth) – so you can go on with your life as if it never happened.
The best long-term fix for a missing tooth is a dental implant, which is based on the structure of a natural tooth: a “crown” that sits above the gums, and a “root” that fits securely in your jawbone, usually made of titanium or titanium alloy. Once implanted, your new tooth will look, feel, and function like your old one. You can even brush and floss as usual.
While the implant process is relatively simple, it does require some healing time, so it’s important to follow your dentist’s post-procedure instructions. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Implanting the root of the dental implant
The first phase of the implant process is surgical, involving local anesthetics with or without oral sedation. Your dentist will insert the root of the implant—which resembles a screw—under your gums. Afterward, a temporary replacement tooth will be placed on top. You may need to avoid extremely hot, hard, or chewy foods for a couple of weeks.
Step 2: Fusing metal and bone to the dental implant
For the next two to four months, your implant will “osseointegrate”—or in layman’s terms, the metal root will fuse with your bone. Almost immediately after implantation, bone molecules begin to surround the titanium (this is where those screw-like threads come in handy, making it easier for the bone to attach), forming a strong, long-lasting bond.
Step 3: Attaching your permanent, custom-made tooth to the dental implant
After your implant is fused and ready to go, a small connector called an abutment is secured on top to anchor your tooth to the implant. Then your custom-made replacement tooth is attached. And voila! No one but you will know it’s not your natural tooth.
Step 4: Smile!
There are few confidence-boosters like a great smile, so now that yours is restored to its former glory, don’t be shy…take it for a spin!
Still unsure if dental implants are right for you?
At Dental Implant Experts in Rancho Bernardo, we’ll schedule you for a consultation to answer all your questions and address your concerns. If you’re considering dental implants, you’ve come to the right place. Our world-renowned dental implant specialists have decades of experience, and we provide excellent, professional service using state-of-the art equipment and technology. We also offer a range of implant options, including the Hybrid4 Fixed Bridge Solution. So call us today!